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Royal Challengers Bangalore's 5 most expensive auction buys

Royal Challengers Bangalore
The RCB squad is littered with stars
Kaushal Raj

When Vijay Mallya acquired an IPL franchise back in 2008, you just knew it would be ‘box office’. Built in the owner’s image, the Royal Challengers Bangalore have dazzled since the inception of the IPL with an array of stars and host of celebrities at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The very first edition of the IPL proved to be a damn squib for the RCB when they finished close to the bottom of the table, and even though they bounced back to finish runners-up in the second edition, it wasn’t until 2011, when they decided to retain only Virat Kohli, did they emerge as top performers.

Over the years, the RCB have been one of the biggest spenders and haven’t been shy in splashing the cash on stars they want to acquire.

If you need any validation of the fact that they are big spenders, you must take a look at the IPL’s most expensive buys ever, where they feature thrice in the Top-15.


Here are RCB’s most expensive buys in IPL history –

#5 Kevin Pietersen – 2009 – $1.55 Million

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen was Vijay Mallya’s man in 2009

Kevin Pietersen was acquired at a stage when he was one of the hottest properties in world cricket. After having become a breakthrough star during the 2005 Ashes, the English batsman had gained quite a reputation for his natural stroke-making ability.

During the 2009 auction, the team management had come with a single point agenda to acquire KP and were willing to go to any limit to secure his services. He had a poor debut season where he only managed to score 93 runs in total but would bounce back with a sensational 2010 where he scored 236 runs at an average of 59.

Despite having fallen out with the England cricket board, he continues to be one of the most popular cricketers on the planet but won’t be seen in action in 2017’s IPL after he pulled out ahead of the auction.

#4 Saurabh Tiwary – 2011 – $1.66 Million

Saurabh Tiwary
Saurabh Tiwary has seen his stardom shrink in the past couple of seasons

At the end of the first three-year cycle, teams were allowed to retain players at a certain cost. The first player retained would cost a whopping $1.8 Million. The RCB decided to put all their eggs in one basket by retaining only one player - Virat Kohli.

While they executed that perfectly, they were more impulsive in the auction. After having impressed in 2010’s IPL, and for sharing a certain likeness to MS Dhoni, Saurabh Tiwary was a very popular cricketer at that stage.

The left-hander was used at the tail of the innings where he was a huge success in 2010, scoring runs at a strike-rate of 135.

The RCB signed him for $1.6 Million - a huge increase from what he earned in 2008, a meager $40,000.

The Delhi Daredevils acquired Tiwary in 2014 but he finds himself in the auction again with the Rising Pune Supergiants deeming him surplus to their requirements after just one season.

#3 Dinesh Karthik – 2015 – $1.75 Million

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik might have finally found a home at the Gujarat Lions

2014 was an absolutely shocking year for the RCB as the team finished in 7th place with just 5 wins in the entire season. They went about rebuilding the team by addressing the wicket-keeper’s spot first, handing Tamil Nadu’s Dinesh Karthik a handsome pay day.

There would be a turnaround in fortunes, but not due to DK’s individual performances as he had a poor year with the bat scoring just 141 runs in total. The RCB was DK’s 5th team in 8 IPL seasons and he would only last the one season, before the Gujarat Lions snapped him up in 2016.

After having had his second best season in IPL history with the Lions, DK was retained and will be hoping to push the team towards the title after an impressive debut season.

#2 Shane Watson – 2016 – $1.98 Million

Shane Watson
Shane Watson nearly helped the RCB win their first title

By the time the 9th edition of the IPL came around in 2016, it was almost unbelievable that the star-studded RCB hadn’t won a single title yet. It was all about adding the final piece of the puzzle and the team did just that with the addition of experienced Australian all-rounder Shane Watson in 2016.

Watson has been one of the league’s most outstanding players since its inception and had a stellar season with the Challengers scoring 179 runs and taking 20 wickets. The year would end in heartbreak for Watson and RCB as they lost the final to the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Having retired from international cricket, Shane Watson will be fresh and raring to go for the RCB for another season as they decided to retain the veteran.

#1 Yuvraj Singh – 2014 – $2.33 Million

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh seemed the perfect fit at Royal Challengers Bangalore

When RCB acquired the services of Yuvraj Singh in 2014, the team started to resemble an all-star team with the batting order comprising of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB De Villiers and the pugnacious left-hander from Punjab.

Fans were left salivating at the thought of watching these batsmen come out to bat one after the other. It was the perfect marriage but it would end in disappointment. Despite a good season on a personal level, where he scored 376 runs and took 5 wickets, the team would have their worst season since the first edition of the league.

In the very next year, Delhi Daredevils would smash the auction record by snapping Yuvraj up for $2.67 million from the RCB. In 2016, Yuvraj barely starred in a title-winning season for the Sunrisers but has been retained for another year.

Edited by Staff Editor

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